Getting started with my first recipe... *First Tasting*

Get advice on making beer from raw ingredients (malt, hops, water and yeast)
somethingspecial

Getting started with my first recipe... *First Tasting*

Post by somethingspecial » Sun Mar 06, 2016 11:31 pm

Evening all,

I joined back in August once I started putting together my kit and while finances have thus far prohibited me from starting yet I've enjoyed reading the threads and improving my knowledge of this new venture I'm beginning.

I'm finally hoping to get started this weekend as pending what advice I'm given in this thread I'll be buying some ingredients this week. I've done a fair amount of research over these last months and certain things still escape me.

From what I've read I think a small SMaSH batch will be the simplest way for me to get something brewing. I've found a recipe but what I'm struggling with is how to scale it down to the size of my equipment. I'm working with a boil size of 16l (4.23 gallons) but the boil size of the recipe is 27.9l (7.37 gallons). I've used Brewgr to scale down the liquid but I don't know the best way to scale the ingredients. Is it a simple case of calculating the percentage difference in liquid to the ingredients or is it more complicated that that?

Anyway, I've attached the recipe (hope that works), maybe you guys can offer me some advice on how to get started. Maybe someone could also explain what it means by the two stage fermentation? Is that the addition of the yeast followed by the dry hopping?

Looking forward to hearing what you've got to say. Thanks in advance.

Lex.
Attachments
Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 22.14.17.png
Last edited by somethingspecial on Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:46 pm, edited 5 times in total.

lord groan
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Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by lord groan » Mon Mar 07, 2016 12:34 am

If this is your first attempt I'd keep it as simple as possible. I'd just halve all the ingredients and the water volumes and go from there. You'll be brewing slightly less than your stated capacity but halving everything makes it very simple.
Good luck

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Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by Deebee » Mon Mar 07, 2016 7:36 am

Thats a lot of cascade.
For me i find cascade overpowering. Rarely use it. But the recipe looks ok.
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Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by DaveyT » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:33 am

I agree with halving the ingredients. You're planning quite a big beer and I'm always surprised at how making smaller beers tends to be easier. I used to virtually live off Dark Star's Hophead and that's a cascade smash with an OG of only 1.039. A belter of a drink.
Happy brewing.
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Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by Matt in Birdham » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:25 pm

DaveyT wrote:I agree with halving the ingredients. You're planning quite a big beer and I'm always surprised at how making smaller beers tends to be easier. I used to virtually live off Dark Star's Hophead and that's a cascade smash with an OG of only 1.039. A belter of a drink.
Happy brewing.
Agreed. I wouldn't start with a beer that big as my first brew (and 1.082 is pretty big!). Bigger beers have their own issues, particularly with respect to getting the yeast going (e.g. proper wort oxygenation becomes important at those levels).
I also wouldn't bitter with cascade (especially that relatively low 5.5% AA Cascade) - you might find things get a bit vegetal when using such a large quantity of low AA hops to bitter. My personal view is that you can keep within the spirit of a "smash" even if you bitter with a cleaner, high AA hops such as Magnum - you'll still find pretty much all of the hop flavour and aroma comes from the later Cascade additions.

somethingspecial

Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by somethingspecial » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:32 pm

Matt in Birdham wrote:
DaveyT wrote:I agree with halving the ingredients. You're planning quite a big beer and I'm always surprised at how making smaller beers tends to be easier. I used to virtually live off Dark Star's Hophead and that's a cascade smash with an OG of only 1.039. A belter of a drink.
Happy brewing.
Agreed. I wouldn't start with a beer that big as my first brew (and 1.082 is pretty big!). Bigger beers have their own issues, particularly with respect to getting the yeast going (e.g. proper wort oxygenation becomes important at those levels).
I also wouldn't bitter with cascade (especially that relatively low 5.5% AA Cascade) - you might find things get a bit vegetal when using such a large quantity of low AA hops to bitter. My personal view is that you can keep within the spirit of a "smash" even if you bitter with a cleaner, high AA hops such as Magnum - you'll still find pretty much all of the hop flavour and aroma comes from the later Cascade additions.
Thanks for the advice guys, really helpful.

With regard to the bittering hops I presume that's the addition at three days? So just switch that out with the magnum and jobs a good'un?

Thanks again. Even more excited now.

Matt12398

Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by Matt12398 » Mon Mar 07, 2016 1:48 pm

The bittering addition is the one at 60 minutes.

If you're brewing a beer that strong you need to up the bitterness to balance it out but you'd also need to ensure you keep the fermentation temperatue under control, use enough yeast (more than 1 pack) and oxygenate well. Not things I'd be wanting to worry about on my first brew.

If I were you I'd brew a beer around 5% with a similar IBU. Remove the 20 minute addition but keep the rest the same.

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Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by Normski » Mon Mar 07, 2016 3:59 pm

Hi somethingspecial
For your 1st AG brew.
I would use a tried and tested recipe instead of making one up.
There are plenty available on this very site.
Norm
The Doghouse Brewery (UK)

somethingspecial

Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by somethingspecial » Mon Mar 07, 2016 10:31 pm

Just bought my final bits of equipment and some ingredients tonight.

Very excited!

somethingspecial

Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by somethingspecial » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:07 pm

Thanks for the advice so far guys - got a second question regarding strike/sparge water.

I'll try to not appear too stupid when asking this question, but I'm trying to apply the theory I've read about to the limited information available in the recipe.

Just bear with me, I want to maximise my yield considering the size of the equipment I have, so I'm going to 3/5 the recipe above. This will mean:

~17l boil volume, resulting in

~11.4l batch size, using

4kg (9lbs) of grain

So...I'm assuming that I need to heat enough hot water to result in 17l of boil volume AFTER accounting for loss during the mashing/transferring etc. How I calculate the total amount I need for striking and sparging is what is confusing me at the moment. Can someone advise me roughly how much water I will need to boil up, how much to add at the strike and how much to add at the sparge?

I can't help but think that I'm overcomplicating things in my mind...

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Getting started with my first recipe... *NEW QUESTION*

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:31 pm

For 4Kg of grain you'll be using (I guess) about 10 litres of mash liquor.

You won't know what your mash and sparge losses will be until after you've done this first brew. The best thing to do is heat up loads of sparge liquor then keep sparging until you get the 17 litres you want to boil, or until the specific gravity (SG) of the wort running from your mash tun gets to about 1.005-1.008. Much below this and you'll be extracting unwanted harsh tannic flavours.

You also won't know whether boiling 17 litres for 60 minutes will give you the 11.4 litres you expect until after the boil. In my set up a 60 minute boil of 17 litres would most likely give me a final volume of about 11.8 litres.

Once you've done this first brew, and kept detailed records at all stages, you will know what your losses are and how efficient your sparge process is.

The theory stuff is all well and good, bit it's not until you've started putting it onto practice that it all begins to make sense!

All the very best of luck for your first all grain brew.

Guy

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Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by orlando » Thu Mar 10, 2016 3:56 pm

Matt12398 wrote:The bittering addition is the one at 60 minutes.
For the avoidance of doubt he means boiled for 60 minutes not added after 60 minutes. The bittering hops are added at the beginning of the boil, somewhere you mention 3 days, I'm assuming you are confusing this with dry hopping which is carried out at the end of fermentation, don't confuse the two.

I too would advise against a beer this big until you have a few under your belt. Big beers can introduce "unusual" flavours and hide faults that you want to experience so you can learn how to avoid them. Most important of all is time, if you want to taste a beer this big at its best you are in for a long wait if you want it to mature to an approachable state, a couple of months at least in my view. Keep it simple, that way you can more easily track changes in the future. Everyone gets a touch of PMT before their first brew, I still get a little myself, but you will soon learn to live with it. By the way, for the avoidance of more doubt, PMT stands for Pre Mash Tension. :wink:
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somethingspecial

Re: Getting started with my first recipe... *NEW QUESTION*

Post by somethingspecial » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:08 pm

guypettigrew wrote:For 4Kg of grain you'll be using (I guess) about 10 litres of mash liquor.

All the very best of luck for your first all grain brew.

Guy
Thanks Guy!

somethingspecial

Re: Getting started with my first recipe...

Post by somethingspecial » Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:10 pm

orlando wrote:
I too would advise against a beer this big until you have a few under your belt.

I see what you're saying about 'big' beers.

Given that the ingredients are already on the way is there anyway I can make this beer 'smaller' with what I've got?

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Re: Getting started with my first recipe... *NEW QUESTION*

Post by guypettigrew » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:48 pm

Yes, you can make it 'smaller'. You're limited by the amount of wort you can boil. You said 16 litres in your original post.

My suggestion would be to use 3.0Kg of grain in 7.5 litres of mash liquor. Then sparge until you have 16 litres of wort or until the SG is between 1.005-1.008 as I mentioned before.

You're looking to get 48 IBUs, all from cascade hops. Try using 30g at the beginning of the boil, another 20g at the 30 minute point, then another 30g when the heat is turned off and the wort has cooled to about 80C or below. It's simple, straightforward and should give you about 46 IBUs. It's impossible to predict accurately. You're working on the basis your cascade hops are 5.5% alpha acid. My current cascade are 6.9% AA. You won't know what yours are until they arrive!

Your hop measurements are all in ounces. Grams are much easier and more accurate!

Your 60 minute boil will give you somewhere around the 11.4 litres you're looking for, but don't expect it to be exact.

This may give you a final wort of 1.052 or thereabouts. Again, impossible to predict as you won't know your mash efficiency until you try it out. I've worked the figures assuming a 73% efficiency. Yours may be lower or higher.

Once again, good luck!

Guy

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